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Allerdale      |245,000            

Birmingham     |400,000            

Blackburn      |401,000            

Bolton         |200,000            

Derby          |50,000             

Hyndburn       |203,000            

Middlesbrough  |50,000             

Pendle         |101,000            

Rochdale       |200,000            

Sheffield      |400,000            

Stoke-on-Trent |250,000            

Wirral         |500,000            



Allerdale      |700,000            

Birmingham     |3,500,000          

Blackburn      |800,000            

Bolton         |500,000            

Burnley        |200,000            

Derby          |500,000            

Doncaster      |250,000            

Hyndburn       |500,000            

Kirklees       |350,000            

Lancaster      |150,000            

Langbaurgh     |180,000            

Leeds          |600,000            

Leicester      |400,000            

Lincoln        |200,000            

Liverpool      |600,000            

Middlesbrough  |370,000            

Newham         |200,000            

Pendle         |500,000            

Preston        |200,000            

Rochdale       |700,000            

Rossendale     |400,000            

Sheffield      |2,000,000          

Stoke-on-Trent |800,000            

Stockport      |300,000            

Walsall        |600,000            

Waltham Forest |300,000            

Wansbeck       |600,000            

Wirral         |3,300,000          

Wolverhampton  |300,000            

Rating Reform

Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will exemplify the figures applicable for the London borough of Hillingdon under a system of capital value rates plus local income tax.

Mr. Gummer : I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to figures equivalent to those quoted by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 25 January at column 1012 concerning a ward sister. A ward sister earning £15,000 living in a flat in Hillingdon worth £60,000 and with a rateable value of £275 would pay rates bill of £558, a community charge of £242, disregarding the transitional safety net, and £640 under a system of capital value rates plus local income tax.

St. Edmundsbury Council

Sir Eldon Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment by how many full-time equivalent employees the staff of St. Edmundsbury council has increased over the 12-month period to the latest count by his joint manpower watch ; by what percentage this figure varies upwards or downwards from the national averages for shire county districts ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer : The number of staff, full-time and part-time, employed by St. Edmundsbury district council increased by 34 ( 4.5 per cent.) in the 12 months to September 1988. In this same period, the overall increase for non-met district councils was 83 employees (less than 0.05 per cent.). Full -time equivalent figures are not available at individual authority level.

Column 431

SSSIs (Registration)

Mr. Onslow : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to ensure that all land in England and Wales notified as a site of special scientific interest under section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act has been registered as such by the appropriate local land charge office.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : I am advised by the Nature Conservancy Council that details of SSSI notifications are forwarded to local land charge offices, who are requested to register them as a local land charge as required by section 28 (11) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended.

Anglian Water Authority (SSSIs)

Mr. John Garrett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the sites of special scientific interest in the ownership of the Anglian water authority.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : The information is currently being assembled by the Nature Conservancy Council. I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available.

Endangered Species

Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will produce an annual report on his Department's progress in the implementation of the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1985.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We propose to include details of the Department's activities in the appropriate yearly supplementary reports on the implementation in the United Kingdom of the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora. Copies of these reports are placed in the Library.

Pollution (Chichester Harbour)

Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what direction Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has given to the Southern water authority in respect of pollution in Chichester harbour ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution is aware of the problem of Chichester harbour, which appears to emanate from the authority's Bosham sewage treatment works during periods of heavy rainfall. The authority has plans to remedy the situation, which the inspectorate is discussing with it.


Mr. Goodlad : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the Southern water authority's announced need for an increase in charges.

Mr. Howard : I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Mr. Baker) on 1 February at columns 213-14. Southern Water will be announcing its own charges for 1989-90 in due course.

Column 432

Toxic Waste

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what European Economic Community directives on the disposal of hazardous and toxic waste have yet to be implemented by the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : All directives in respect of waste disposal have been implemented except for directive 87/101 on waste oils, for which the implementation date is 1 January 1990, and directive 84/631 on transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste in respect of Northern Ireland. Regulations to implement the latter are expected to come into force next month.

Mr. Winnick : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to the sites and the local authority areas in the west midlands used for the disposal of hazardous and toxic waste ; and if he will indicate whether they are council operated or operated by a private firm.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution has a record of some 151 waste disposal facilities in the west midlands area. These are listed by local authority area and by ownership :



Birmingham    |5      |31             

Coventry      |2      |7              

Dudley        |6      |13             

Sandwell      |9      |28             

Solihull      |2      |12             

Walsall       |1      |22             

Wolverhampton |3      |10             

Details of the sites, including information on the types of waste for which they are licensed, can be obtained from the appropriate waste disposal authorities, who are required to maintain a public register.

Residuary Bodies

Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy to answer parliamentary questions relating to those activities of residuary bodies which have a direct effect on (a) individuals in contact with those bodies or their tenants or (b) their staff.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : Residuary bodies are non-departmental public bodies whose main line of accountability is to Parliament through the Secretary of State. My right hon. Friend will, of course, answer questions on all matters relevant to his ministerial responsibilities in relation to them. In accordance with normal practice relating to non- departmental public bodies, questions on their day-to-day affairs should be referred to the residuary bodies themselves.

Asbestos (New St. Andrew's House)

Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what tests have been carried out to establish the presence of blue asbestos at New St. Andrew's house, Edinburgh ; what levels of asbestos were found ; when he expects to make known the results of such tests ; and if he will make a statement.

Column 433

Mr. Chope : Repeated air samples have been taken from New St. Andrew's house and no blue asbestos has been found. Brown and white asbestos has been found in sprayed ceiling insulation and to a lesser extent in ceiling tiles, but the repeated air tests have shown any asbestos to be below accepted minimum safety standards.

The Scottish Office has been kept aware of the results of tests. A joint inspection by the Health and Safety Executive, the PSA Scotland safety officer and a trade union representative was carried out in August 1988. The conclusion was that the asbestos was in a safe condition and that there was no immediate risk to staff. Inspection of the building will continue and any required air tests will be taken.

Low-cost Housing (Rural Areas)

Mr. Boswell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he plans to give to planning authorities in rural areas as to whether they can properly take account of local needs for low-cost housing in drawing up local plans and deciding planning applications ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ridley : In preparing their local plans authorities must ensure that adequate provision is made, consistent with the structure plan, for housing demand of all kinds. As was made clear in circular 1/85, planning controls are concerned with the use of land rather than with the identity of the user. The question of who is to occupy premises for which permission is to be granted will normally be irrelevant. I recognise, however, that in some rural areas there are genuine difficulties in securing an adequate supply of low-cost housing for local needs. In such areas, the need for low -cost housing and the existence of arrangements made by the developer, or between the developer and the landowner or the local authority, to ensure that new low-cost housing is made available for local needs could be material considerations which the authority would take into account in deciding whether to grant planning permission. Such considerations might be particularly relevant to the release of small sites within or adjoining existing villages which would not otherwise be allocated for housing.

Since planning conditions cannot normally be used to impose restrictions on tenure or occupancy, the planning authority would need to satisfy itself before granting planning permission that other secure arrangements to the effect would be made. Examples of such arrangements might be the involvement of a village trust or housing association with a suitable lettings policy ; or covenants designed to give priority to first-time buyers from the locality ; or an agreement between the planning authority and the developer under section 52 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. It would be important for schemes to ensure that the benefits of low- cost provision pass not only to the initial occupants but to subsequent occupants as well.

Local plan policies should make it clear that the release of such sites to secure provision of low-cost housing for local needs will be additional to the provision made in the plan for general housing demand, recognising that particular local needs may justify the release of land that would not normally be allocated to meet general housing demand. It should be made clear that land allocated in the plan to meet general housing demand will not be confined

Column 434

to local needs only, and planning permission for such land should not be refused on the ground that the developers or landowners are not prepared to enter into arrangements to secure provision for local needs.

The case for releasing additional land that would not normally receive planning permission for housing, in order to secure provision of low-cost housing for local needs, will be essentially a matter for local judgment. Where a planning authority refuses permission for such development, and the matter goes to appeal, I and my inspectors will bear in mind the essentially local nature of the decision, though each case will be considered on its merits.


Soviet Refuseniks

Mr. Bendall : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to raise the case of long-term refuseniks, including Boris Chernobilsky of Moscow.

Mr. Waldegrave : We press the Soviet Authorities at every possible opportunity about long-term refusenik cases such as Boris Chernobilsky. The most recent occasion was at the United States-USSR bilateral talks on human rights on 26 January.


Mr. Butler : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Cambridgeshire, North-East (Mr. Moss) of 25 January, Official Report, column 575, community grant aid will be monitored within the different geographical areas of Cyprus ; and if he will make it his policy to seek to ensure that the area known as the Turkish republic of north Cyprus derives appropriate benefit.

Mrs. Chalker : The European Community has made it clear that assistance under the EC-Cyprus financial protocol should benefit the whole population of the island. The commission is responsible for the administration of grants to Cyprus ; but all projects are subject to member states' approval by qualified majority.

International Organisations

Mr. Galbraith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those international organisations on which his Department is represented and the total cost of those commitments.

Mr. Waldegrave : The following sets out the international organisations to which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office paid subscriptions in the 1987-88 financial year. Total contributions paid by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to these organisations was £578,273,000.

Organisation 1987-88 outturn

Subscriptions paid from class II, vote 2, other external relations UN Regular Budget and Peacekeeping Operations

Commonwealth Secretariat

Council of Europe : General Expenses

Council of Europe : Buildings

Council of Europe : European Youth Foundation

Western European Union

Column 435

Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development North Atlantic Treaty Organisation : Civil Budget

NATO : International Staff Secretariat

South Pacific Commission

Commonwealth Foundation

Co-ordinating Committee, Paris

International Institute for the Unification of Private Law International Exhibitions Bureau

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Permanent Court of Arbitration

Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

Universal Postal Union

Subscriptions paid from class II, vote 5, overseas aid

International Development Association

International Finance Corporation

Asian Development Bank :

African Development Bank :

Inter-American Development Bank :

Caribbean Development Bank :

International Fund for Agricultural Development

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Capital Subscription

UN Development Programme (UNDP)

UN Children's Fund

Food and Agricultural Organisation

UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

UN Education and Training Programme for South Africa

UN Development Fund for Women

International Atomic Energy Agency

UN Centre for Human Settlements

Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation

Commonwealth Youth Programme

Commonwealth Media Development Fund

Commonwealth Secretariat--Nassau Fellowship

Commonwealth Science Council

UN Fund for Population Activities

International Foundation for Science

International Planned Parenthood Federation

World Health Organisation (WHO) : Special Programme

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, Rome

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Colombo Plan Bureau

European Development Fund

European Community

World Food Programme

Food Aid Committee

MBFR Talks

Mr. Knapman : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the mutual and balanced force reduction talks.

Mr. Waldegrave : On 2 February 1989 the negotiations on the mutual reduction of forces and armaments and associated measures in central Europe (commonly known as MBFR), which began in Vienna in 1973, formally came to an end by mutual agreement of all participants. A copy of the joint communique marking the closure of talks, has been placed in the Library of the House. The negotiations failed to produce any agreement, something which the Government regret. They nonetheless represented a first exploration of the vital area of conventional arms control ; and they have increased mutual understanding of the complexity and importance of the issues involved. The experience gained by the participants about the process of negotiating about conventional armaments has been

Column 436

valuable ; and some convergence of views was reached on certain principles which should apply to conventional arms reductions. The talks have thus laid a foundation for further consideration of these issues in the forthcoming negotiations on conventional armed forces in Europe : these are scheduled to begin in Vienna in March.


Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the Romanian ambassador ; and what matters were discussed.

Mr. Waldegrave : I summoned the ambassador of Romania on 30 January to protest about the infringement of the rights both of Her Majesty's ambassador in Romania and of the Romanian citizen, Mrs. Doina Cornea. We will continue to protest strongly about Romanian policies, which run counter to their obligations under the Vienna CSCE agreement, at every suitable opportunity.

United States Secretary of State

Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he is next going to meet the United States Secretary of State.

Mr. Waldegrave : My right hon. and learned Friend expects to meet Mr. Baker in the very near future.

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